Negative publicity, often fuelled by media headlines over so-called “compensation culture”, is putting nearly a third of genuine victims off from pursuing a claim, according to new law industry research.
The survey found that more than seven in ten respondents admit they judge people who put in a claim following an injury, and six in ten said they resent personal injury claimants because it “pushes up the cost of insurance.”
Up to four in ten people admit they harbour a negative perception of how claimants spend their compensation awards, believing that the money will be spent on items such as a “nice holiday”, “spending spree”, “new car” or “nice things for their family.”
As a result, victims of an accident are increasingly reluctant to pursue a claim because, in their view, making a claim for a personal injury causes “unnecessary fuss.” One in ten claim they were “worried about what others would think of them.” The survey results appear to show that genuine claimants may be opting to face personal and financial difficulties without seeking any professional legal help for justice or compensation.
Nearly six in ten said that the “real consequences” of not making a claim had left them with an average of £1,180 out of pocket, while one in ten needed to find £2,000 or more to cover their costs. More than two in ten suffered loss of earnings and one in ten incurred unexpected medical expenses. One in seven said they were forced to make cut-backs on daily shopping essentials.
Gender and age also accounted for differences in attitude towards claiming for an accident. More than five in ten of men as opposed to four in ten of women are more likely to make a personal injury claim. Over half of those aged over 55 would not pursue damages while four in ten of those aged 18 -24 said they would claim.
Younger people were found to be less likely to be resentful towards people who make a claim compared with over half of older people who are more likely to believe Britain has a ‘compensation culture.’